Clarinet sonata

Robert Rival
Robert Rival
Composition Date: 2010
Duration: 00:13:00
Genre: Woodwinds, + Keyboard, Clarinet


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Piano
Click here to download full work (7.11 Mb - Not printable)

Premiere Information:
Assumption Chapel, University of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario
Trevor Pittman, Gregory Butler


  • Call Number:
  • MI 5213 R616cl
  • Genre:
  • Woodwinds, + Keyboard, Clarinet
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • February 20, 2013
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (39 p.) ;
    39 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 11
    1 part (11 p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • : I. Lake: open water, brilliant sun, shimmering surface
    II. Marsh: winding waterways, tall reeds, punctuated tranquillity

    While living in Toronto my wife and I would escape the city every summer by spending a week in cottage country. One year we rented a cabin in the Muskoka region that had the distinction of sitting on a rock face overlooking a wide lake while at the same time bordering a narrow tributary that led to a vast marsh. We spent the bulk of our time canoeing on the open lake and along a winding channel that cut through the marsh—the two scenes I depict in this sonata.

    The first of these, "LAKE: open water, brilliant sun, shimmering surface", and marked "Nervous, exuberant", reflects the joy of being out on the open water. The music's flowing ostinatos, syncopations and cross-rhythms reflect the rhythm of the waves and of the canoe, and the dance of the sun's light on the water.

    The second scene, "MARSH: winding waterways, tall reeds, punctuated tranquillity", offers a contrasting experience. Here tension-laden stasis unexpectedly gives way to brief moments of activity. On one occasion, while gliding in our canoe among the tall grasses, we paused at a beaver dam and waited patiently for one of its inhabitants to emerge from within. Instead, the stillness was interrupted by a loud splash some ways behind us—a beaver slapping its tail to signal danger. Not all the wildlife was as elusive: we saw a black bear rambling along the shoreline at dusk; and a great blue heron taking flight as soon as it noticed that we had noticed it.

    In the score I have indicated that the movements can be played in either order and have designed the music accordingly: it seems immaterial whether one experiences the lake or the marsh first. The first movement may also be performed separately.

    Trevor Pittman, a clarinetist who I had the good fortune of meeting during my year teaching at the University of Windsor, Ontario, commissioned the sonata; I have dedicated the work to him.


    Commissioned by: Trevor Pittman
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Clarinet sonata "Muskoka" by Robert Rival (Score)
Printed on demand
Clarinet sonata "Muskoka" by Robert Rival (Score and Parts)
Printed on demand
Clarinet sonata "Muskoka": Score
(downloadable PDF)
Clarinet sonata "Muskoka": Score and Parts
Score and Parts
(downloadable PDF)
Clarinet sonata "Muskoka"
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